Building a relationship with your elected officials is the foundation for advocacy and lobbying. Understand the difference between advocacy and lobbying—words that are often misunderstood—and learn how to work successfully at both.
The message for advocates should be clear: government spending on the arts fares better when legislators understand how the arts can advance their own policy agendas. When you know how to put the arts on the public policy agenda, arts funding turns out to be everyone's business.
Candidates running for office need to know that voters are serious about public support for the arts. Arts advocates should be visible during these campaigns, raising their voices. Learn how to take advantage of the campaign season to educate politicians and show how the arts are important in your community.
E-advocacy has become a powerful means of persuasion in our halls of government. Review the ways you can exploit the power of technology to organize communities, educate constituencies, recruit allies, communicate with elected officials and win legislative victories.
Tough Times: Advocacy Strategies in an Economic Downturn
When economic indicators are down, what can arts advocates do to minimize the harm to arts programs and maximize the possibilities for public arts funding? Find out how arts advocates can develop a creative response to a state's fiscal constraints, aligning their budget priorities with the political realities.
Advocacy for Public Support of the Arts: A Civic Responsibility
Advocacy belongs in the job description of every board member of every arts organization. Discover how to enlist the experts who can make the case for public arts funding: the staff and volunteer leaders, the artists and the audiences for your community's nonprofit arts organizations.
Advocacy by Arts Organizations: Tax Laws and Lobbying
Legislation enacted into law in 1976 permits charitable 501(c)(3) organizations greater freedom in spending on lobbying activities than prior law. Learn the six main elements of the federal lobbying law and how it applies to arts organizations.
Access to Power: Building Political Clout for the Arts
One-to-one communication is the basis of successful political alliances. Arts advocates around the country have enjoyed success in building relationships with politicians. Their experiences, gathered here, offer an abundance of useful strategies for gaining access to power.
"What's working in your state?" is one of the first questions asked when arts advocates get together. Here are 40 proven strategies used by volunteer and professional arts advocates from around the country to help increase the visibility of the arts and strengthen support for the arts among the public and with public officials.
Advocacy and Term Limits: Developing Arts Support in the Legislature Early
Term limits compress the time available for nurturing effective relationships with legislators. The experiences, gathered here, of arts advocates working in states with term limits illustrate the importance in every state—with or without term limits—of making connections early.
Arts Advocates in the Legislature: A Legislative Caucus on the Arts
In a number of states, arts advocates and the state arts agency enjoy a special relationship with their state legislators through a legislative arts caucus or special committee on the arts. Learn how arts caucus members become allies for arts advocates and the caucus becomes a point of entry into the legislature for advocacy.
Facing Controversy: Arts Issues and Crisis Communications
From time to time, public arts funding faces controversy. Explore examples that demonstrate the benefits of thorough communications planning, clear PR procedures, a shrewd press strategy, and strong relationships with the arts community and legislators.